Through exhibitions, programs and partnerships we strive to be an active community resource, connecting contemporary audiences to Esherick’s brilliant creations and the beauty of the everyday.

2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Wharton Esherick Museum!

We are excited to celebrate WEM’s founding, as well as the experiences of the thousands of visitors over the years who, through their time in the Studio, have found themselves while also discovering Esherick’s legacy, vision, and continued relevance. For the next year, a series of exhibitions and programs will explore the idea of “home” in order to celebrate WEM’s 50 year history and to think creatively about the next fifty years – and beyond. 

Explore our anniversary year programs and exhibitions below.

Online Events

Spotlight Talk: Filming with Craft in America

December 20 @ 12:00 pm - 12:20 pm

Current Exhibition

Home as Stage

September 15, 2022 – December 30, 2022

Home as Stage, the final installment in our 50th anniversary year series in which we explore the idea of “home,” asks visitors to consider Esherick’s home and Studio not only as the set on which the artist’s ambitions played out, but also as a stage that hosted players – often other artists – whose conversation, collaboration, and connection made Esherick’s life that much richer and more profound.

To honor that legacy and create new opportunities, WEM invited four Philadelphia-based contemporary artists – Emily Carris-Duncan, Kay Healy, Colin Pezzano, and Stacey Lee Webber – to use the space as a stage for their own creative practices exploring the world of objects through skilled engagement with wood, metal, and fiber. These contemporary artworks on view in the Studio are complemented by a selection of textile objects on loan to WEM from the Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM). Produced by four artists and architects of Esherick’s era with compelling connections to the artist’s life, career, and experiences – Viola Frey, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, Robert Venturi – their placement in Esherick’s Studio explores ideas around the artist’s networks and connections on an intimate, inviting stage. 

Home as Stage is an onsite exhibition with artworks on display in Esherick’s Studio. Please note, all visitors must have advance reservations to tour the Studio.

Explore Home as Stage Exhibition

Learn more and book your tour here.

Colin Pezzano working in his studio

Past Installments in our Home as… Series

    View Home as Site Exhibition

   View Home as Self Exhibition

Virtual Exhibition

Imprint 2022

Imprint 2022 is our 14th annual high school print competition and exhibition. The Imprint program encourages new generations of young artists in the medium of relief printmaking. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wharton Esherick Museum this year, we are reflecting on the importance of home and the many different ways Esherick incorporated it into his life’s work. For this year’s Imprint exhibition we introduced the theme of ‘Visions of Home’. We asked that students interpret the meaning of home through their own print submissions. This year’s show is entirely virtual.

View Our Past Exhibitions

Artist Opportunities

29th Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition
29th Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition
Deadline: January 6, 2023
The 15th Annual Imprint Competition & Exhibition
The 15th Annual Imprint Competition & Exhibition
Deadline: February 13, 2023

Everything Else

Center for Creative Works Residency

In April of 2018, the Wharton Esherick Museum launched a new partnership with the Center for Creative Works, an art studio focusing on developing creative workplace potential and cultural identity for people with intellectual disabilities. During the residency, a dedicated group of artists from CCW are on site weekly to draw inspiration from Esherick’s work through observation, sketching, model-making and discussion. With guidance from furniture makers and woodworking instructors the resident CCW artists refine their designs and techniques at the CCW woodshop and facilities in Wynnewood.

Philly Touch Tours

With support from the National Endowment for the Arts and other generous funders, the Wharton Esherick Museum has engaged Philly Touch Tours to design, develop and host accessible touch experiences for people with vision loss. Philly Touch Tours LLC, founded in 2015, provides accessibility consulting and touch tour program design for museums and cultural institutions and Disability Awareness and Sensitivity Training for museum and cultural institution staff. Philly Touch Tours will, in collaboration with the Museum, design and facilitate touch tours, provide training for Museum staff and volunteers on leading tours for individuals with vision loss and produce Braille and large print materials. The program aims to inspire curiosity and facilitate a meaningful experience for people with vision loss, while disseminating information about The Wharton Esherick Museum’s history, its collection and its active engagement with the public.

CraftNOW

Launched in 2014, CraftNOW Philadelphia unites the leading institutions and artists of Philadelphia’s craft community in a celebration of the city’s rich legacy of craft, its internationally-recognized contemporary craft scene, and its important role as an incubator for arts based in wood, clay, fiber, metal and glass. Through both creating and spotlighting events during the week of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, CraftNOW invites locals and visitors alike to explore Philadelphia’s innovations in the world of the handmade.

The Wharton Esherick Museum is a proud member of the consortium of individuals, galleries, museums, universities, retailers, and civic organizations who participate in CraftNOW each November. For details on CraftNOW events visit our event calendar.